Hardwood floors can add elegance and value to your home. Cherry, walnut, oak, maple, birch, and many more—they all bring their own distinct style to your space. Keeping them in great condition, however, can sometimes be a challenge. To help protect and properly maintain your hardwood floors avoid these mistakes.

Using Too Much Water or Liquid Cleaner

Although most hardwood floors are treated to withstand wet cleanings you shouldn’t soak them with water or a liquid cleaner. Depending on the amount of foot traffic your floors receive you may have to wet-clean them about every four to six weeks. When you do so apply a cleaner to small sections of the floor at a time using a damp mop or cloth, but don’t drench your floors with liquids.

Not Using Furniture Pads

The wooden and metal legs of heavy sofas and chairs put pressure on the surface of your hardwood floors, and when a sofa or love seat shifts, or when a chair is moved, it can leave scuffs and marks on your floor—over time its surface can become worn. Furniture pads on the feet of your pieces can buffer this friction and help save your floors.

Not Trimming Your Pets’ Nails

Your fur babies are beloved members of your family, but their untrimmed nails can wreak havoc on your hardwood floors by causing scratches and dents. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so keep the paws of your loyal little ones trimmed.

Not Using a Rug Pad

Rugs made of coarse materials like jute and sisal, as well as rugs with rough backings, can scratch the surface of your floors. To help prevent abrasions these materials should always be accompanied by a felt rug pad.

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